The North Kitsap School District announced Friday that all schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 24 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We have deeply appreciated your patience as we have navigated this unprecedented situation with COVID-19,” NKSD Superintendent Laurynn Evans wrote in a statement to community members. “We have been following the guidance of our local and state health authorities to stay open as long as possible. In light of the closure of all public and private K-12 schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish county, and the ask of Governor Inslee for all remaining school districts across the state to prepare now for closures in their regions, we believe now is the time to find alternative ways to serve our community and families.”
“This decision is the hardest decision I have ever had to make, as I know the incredible impact that it has on our students, staff, families and our entire community. While educating our students is our primary mission, we also provide critical services and support to numerous families in our area. Our schools are not just a place to learn, they are a place that provides students with stability and consistency, and they are one of our primary places where we build relationships and community.”
District leaders have been developing contingency plans for a school closure and are providing support in the following areas for the duration of the closure:
- Provide remote educational resources for students and families to access
- Offer food options for students who rely on meals from our school nutrition program
- Provide childcare for those parents who work in healthcare and emergency services at the very least.
“All of the above are in development, and while we are closing in on finalized plans, it will take more time to fully develop and communicate the specifics for each area,” Evans statement reads. “Our goal is to implement these programs as soon as possible, and we intend to continue them through April 24.”
The district states it will continue working with state and local partners and communicate information as it develops. As such, staff may not be able to respond to individual questions via email or phone, but the NKSD website will be updated regularly with pertinent information.
“We are in uncharted waters, not only as a community, but throughout the world,” Evans concluded. “It will take all of us working together to get through this – and I know that together, we will.”
As of Friday, the Kitsap Public Health District has confirmed three positive tests of COVID-19 in the county; two of which are Bainbridge Island residents and one being a South Kitsap resident. The health district has also confirmed 41 negative tests of COVID-19. At the state level, the department of health has confirmed 31 deaths and 457 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday morning.